Mar 8, 2014

Preschool Classic Song: The Hokey Pokey

 
The Hokey Pokey is an action song for young children that has been popular since the 1950s with some questionable beginnings. The copyrighted song, since 1950, is held by Larry La Prese (1940-1996) . Today, the song is known around the world, and is a staple for preschool, daycare, school and home settings with young children. The following article provides some alternative ways to sing the Hokey Pokey to correlate with the theme of the classroom, or for instance a birthday party.

 

The Hokey Pokey Lyrics


First, the description and lyrics of the classic song should be provided before discussing alternative ways to sing it. The participating singers of the Hokey Pokey will stand in a circle and act out the words with their body parts:

You put your right hand in
You put your right hand out,
You put your right hand in, and you shake it all about,
You do the hokey pokey, and you turn yourself around
That what it's all about!


The song continues with different body parts that the teacher or leader can choose. In addition, the children can provide ideas. Some fun and different ones are your bottom, your teeth, your hair and of course, your whole self.

Hokey Pokey for Animal Themes


Depending on the theme, the Hokey Pokey can be sung with an animal in mind. For instance, at Easter, the children can pretend they are bunnies. Thus, the lyrics would follow with the different parts of the animal, such as:


You put your long ears in, you put your long ears out
You put your long ears in, and you hop all about
You do the Bunny Pokey and you hop yourself around
That's what it's all about!


This idea can be extended to include any animal. If a preschool has a lesson plan on bees, then the Hokey Pokey can have the following lyrics:


You put your antennae in, you put your antennae out
You put your antennae in, and you buzz all about
You do the honeybee pokey, and you buzz yourself around
That's what it's all about!

Hokey Pokey for Birthday Parties or Themes



 
 
Often birthday party themes follow television or movie characters. One alternative way to sing hokey pokey is to make character sticks, for instance print off pictures of Dora the Explorer to equal the amount of children participating at the birthday party or make dinosaurs. Tape or glue the picture onto a large popsicle stick then give one to each child. In a circle, sing the following lyrics and allow the children to have their dino move to the lyrics:


You put your dino up, you put your dino down
You put your dino up, and you shake it all around
You do the Dino Pokey, and you turn yourself around
Two stomps on the ground!

You put your dino to your head, you put your dino to your toe
You put your dino to your head, And you wobble to and fro
You do the Dino Pokey and you turn yourself around
Two stomps on the ground!



The characters can simply be used to sing and act the regular lyrics to Hokey Pokey as well.

 

The Hokey Pokey at Halloween


Another way to sing the Hokey Pokey is to sing about costumes that are being worn, such as a Halloween theme Party. Some ideas are:
  • mask
  • cape
  • wand
  • wig
  • costume
  • crown

 

The Hokey Pokey and Musical Instruments


With a group of young children, musical instruments can become a loud event. One idea to help monitor the playing is to sing this version of the hokey pokey and whoever has the matching instrument to the lyrics being sung by the teacher will stand up and play.


You play your bell up high
You play your bell down low
You play your bell up high
And now very slow
You do the Music Pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

The Hokey Pokey for Learning Concepts


Finally, the hokey pokey can be sung to help toddlers and preschool children learn concepts, such as colors and shapes by placing stickers on children's shoes, hands, knees and so on.

 

Do You Have Any Other Ideas?


The Hokey Pokey is a children's action song that is enjoyed by all ages and can easily be altered to include a variety of themes. Feel free to add any other ideas for extending this classic song.
 

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